I think it’s a bit more complex than that… Yes, prices haven’t gone up that much in general, compared to other type of entertainment media or products in general, and yes I’m sure a lot of game productions costs have gone up substantially, however the market is soooo different than it was in the 80’s and 90’s that it’s very hard to compare. These days A LOT more people have consoles at home, and the internet has allowed for mass distribution on a scale that wasn’t imaginable back then.
For exemple, in the 90’s everyone I knew got pirated copies of games (for PC that is) EVERYONE including me. These days, I’m faily sure PC games do a lot better thanks to Steam and the massive sales you can find in there and other sites now. Pirating is a pain in the ass, always has been, but if you price a thing at an acceptable level (even if people have to wait) they’ll rather buy it than pirate it, and in the end, it results in more revenue for the companies. In terms of consoles, it was obviously much harder to pirate, but I remember when I was young, only about 1 in 30 boys I knew (maybe even less) had a console at home. These days it seems everyone does… hell you can even play games on your phone =/
The landscape is so different that it’s hard to compare and judge it that way.
Anyways, micro-transactions are not inherently wrong, obviously, but some practises involving them are. But hey, it’s all about the market… in the end, if people fall for it and buy the product, the companies will continue doing it.